"Bob was a hugely significant part of the international rugby scene in particular during the period in which Graham Henry was in charge of Wales from 1998- 2002," said Pickering, who served as Wales team manager under Henry.
"During Graham's era I remember him as a constant presence monitoring and reporting on exciting times, which included an 11-match winning run for the Wales team and a first ever victory over South Africa.
"He became a good friend during that period, but probably the measure of the man was displayed in his integrity when times became more difficult and when the team was losing.
"He handled himself with great dignity and was always professional even when he had to ask the tough questions.
"An outstanding journalist who had the respect of everyone in that team at that time, I'm sure he made the same impression on the array of talented people he interviewed over the course of his distinguished career.
"For me he was the shining example of the professional journalist and his name will always be synonymous with the highest standards of his profession, but he was also a genuine friend.
"His enthusiasm for rugby and all sport was infectious and he will be sadly missed by all in Welsh rugby who had the pleasure of working with him."